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如何驾驭让人头疼的超级天才员工?

2014-06-20    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

俗话说,一流人才有本事,没脾气;二流人才有本事,有脾气。现实情况是,大多数有本事的人多少都会有点小脾气。一个创意团队中,至少会有一个人是天纵奇才,同时也是难以相处的独行侠。幸运的是,只要用对了方法,他们也可以很听话。

Dear Annie: I've never seen this problem addressed in your column, but I can't be the only one struggling with it. About six months ago, I got this great new job leading a team of 18 software developers and designers, and everything's going great, with one exception. One of our most talented people is also the most difficult and unpredictable. He has terrific ideas and often comes up with elegant solutions to challenges that have other people tearing their hair out. He's also the brain behind two of our biggest hit products.
亲爱的安妮:我发现,您的栏目一直没有提到过这个问题,但我想,被这个问题困扰的人肯定不止我一个。大约六个月前,我得到了目前这份不错的新工作,带领一支由18名软件开发人员和设计人员组成的团队。一切都很顺利,除了一件烦心事。在那些最具才华的下属中,有一位非常难相处,脾气也让人难以捉摸。所有人都束手无策的时候,他总能有绝妙的创意,提出一流的解决方案。此外,我们最受欢迎的两款产品也都来自于他的创意。

However, he's not at all interested in project deadlines, he's dismissive of other people's ideas, and he's so absorbed in his own work that he misses a lot of meetings, so he's never quite up to speed with the details of what's going on. I want to keep him here (he's already changed jobs four times in eight years, and I know for a fact he gets other offers all the time), but his prima donna act is bad for the whole team. How can I get him to play well with others? — Baffled Boss
但是,他从来不关心项目期限,对别人的创意也总是不屑一顾。而且,他经常专注于自己的工作,缺席了许多次会议,结果导致他经常对公司的其他事情一无所知。我想留住他(在八年时间里,他已经换过四次工作,而且我知道有其他公司对他觊觎已久),可他那种不受约束的行为对整个团队没有好处。我该如何让他与团队其他成员融洽相处呢?——困惑的老板

Dear Baffled: Ah. Sounds like a textbook example of what executive coach Katherine Graham Leviss calls a high-maintenance high-performance (or HMHP) employee. "These people tend to be visionary, big-picture thinkers. They're independent producers, and they're very driven, but they're not process-oriented. They're focused on results," she says. "Once they have a mental image of the outcome they want, they go after it without regard to how what they're doing affects teammates."
亲爱的DB:听起来,你遇到的就是那种典型的、桀骜不驯的高效能(或HMHP)员工。这是高管教练凯瑟琳•格雷厄姆•里维斯对该类员工的称呼。她说:“这类人通常是有远见、有大局观的思想者。他们是独立生产者,非常要强,但却不关注过程,只关注结果。一旦他们在脑海中勾勒出自己想要的结果,他们就会义无反顾地努力实现,从不管这样会给队友们带来什么样的影响。”

Leviss runs XBInsight, a coaching firm that specializes in taming HMHPs for Fortune 500companies and the National Football League. The company has developed a proprietary tool for assessing where and how employees' (and managers') behavior can improve. Leviss also wrote a book you might want to check out called High-Maintenance Employees: Why Your Best People Will Also Be Your Most Difficult…and What to Do About It.
里维斯经营着一家职场辅导公司XBInsight,主要业务便是为《财富》500强公司(Fortune 500)和美国国家橄榄球联盟(National Football League,NFL)驯服那些桀骜不驯的高效能员工。这家公司开发了一款专有工具,用来评估员工(和管理者)的哪些行为需要改进,如何改进。此外,里维斯还出版过的一本书——《如何驾驭桀骜不驯的员工》(High-Maintenance Employees: Why Your Best People Will Also Be Your Most Difficult…and What to Do About It),或许对你会有所帮助。

"HMHPs are tremendously valuable if properly managed," Leviss says. "And luckily, they're highly coachable. One thing this personality type can't stand is feeling out of control. So once you create an awareness of the problems an HMHP's behavior is causing, he or she is likely to feel a sense of urgency about getting back on top."
How do you do that?
里维斯表示:“借助适当的管理,这类员工的价值绝对不可估量。幸运的是,他们很容易接受指导。有一件事是此类人格类型所不能忍受的,那就是失控的感觉。只要你让这类员工意识到其行为导致了问题的出现,他们就会重新找回状态。”具体应该怎么做呢?

1. Set up consistent processes and guidelines. "If there's no process in place, HMHPs will create their own," says Leviss -- and that can lead to chaos. But don't let an HMHP determine what the process is going to be, even though he or she will probably try. Instead, assign designing the structure of a project, including deadlines, to "more methodical, step-by-step team members who are good at that."
1.建立一致的流程与准则。里维斯认为:“如果没有既定的流程,恃才傲物员工就会自己创造一套流程,”而这则会造成混乱。另外,不能把流程的决定权交给这类员工,就算他们可能会尝试这么干。相反,要将设计项目结构和最终期限等任务交给“真正擅长,并且更有条理、按部就班的团队成员”。

2. Assign them tasks they can "own." This is largely a matter of turning an HMHP's outsized ego to your, and the rest of the team's, advantage. Since these are people who want to put their own stamp on their work -- and since "they're usually highly technically proficient," Leviss notes -- put them in charge of the part of each project where they can shine the brightest.
2. 向恃才傲物的员工分配他们可以自由支配的任务。这样可以将这类员工超级自负的性格转变成整个团队的优势。里维斯表示,因为这类员工希望在工作中打上自己的烙印,并且“他们通常都是技术达人”,所以,每一个项目中,凡是能够让他们发挥最大潜力的部分,都可以放手交给他们全权负责。

To bring out an HMHP's best performance, Leviss says, make it about him. "Instead of saying, 'The team has to get to X result by such-and-such a date,' focus on his part of it: 'In order for the team to get to X, you have to produce Y.'" Then stand back. "It's usually pointless to tell an HMHP how to get there," says Leviss. "He or she will just try to find a better way, and they usually can."
要想激励有本事、有脾气的员工拿出最好的表现,里维斯建议,将他们与工作栓到一起。“不要说:‘团队必须在某某日期之前得到X结果。’应该突出他的部分:‘为了确保团队实现X,你必须达到Y。’”然后便可让其自由发挥。里维斯称:“告诉这类员工应该如何做,通常不会产生任何效果。他们自己会努力找到更好的办法,而且他们往往也的确能够做到。”

3. Make your expectations clear.Sit down with your HMHP for a frank discussion of exactly what isn't working, and don't hesitate to be blunt about it. "You don't need to 'sandwich' your remarks with praise, as you might with other employees, because HMHPs already know they're extremely talented," Graham Leviss says. "So get right to the point: 'Here's how what you're doing -- skipping team meetings, for instance -- affects everybody else, and here's what I need you to start doing instead.'
3. 明确期望值。坐下来和恃才傲物的员工开诚布公地谈一谈,到底哪里出现了问题,不必担心太过直接。格雷厄姆•里维斯说:“不用像对待其他员工那样‘斟词酌句’,用好话来做铺垫,因为这类员工们非常清楚自己的价值。所以不妨开门见山地说:‘这是你的行为对团队其他人的影响,比如不参加团队会议,我需要你从现在开始做到这些事情。’”

"We do this kind of coaching with NFL trainers" who must turn star players into responsible team members, she adds: "It takes a little while for new habits to form, but hold people accountable and remind them of the changes you've said you want to see."
她补充道:“我们曾经对NFL的培训师进行指导。”他们的职责就是帮助将明星球员转变成负责任的团队成员。“培养新的习惯需要一点时间,但却可以让人们负起责任,并提醒他们记住,你希望看到他们的变化。”

4. Provide as many learning opportunities as you can.High-performance employees get bored more easily than others (which helps explain why they tend to change jobs so often). They also "like to feel that they're on top of the latest, newest, hottest" trends in their field, Leviss notes. So be on the lookout for cutting-edge training, interesting conferences, and other learning experiences you can offer your HMHP. Whatever the cost, it's lower than the price of replacing him.
4. 提供尽可能多的学习机会。恃才傲物的员工比其他人更容易对工作感到厌烦(这也解释了为何他们会如此频繁地更换工作)。而且,里维斯发现,这类员工很喜欢“自己是所在领域最新、最热潮流引领者”的感觉。所以,留意最前沿的培训、有趣的会议和其他学习机会,提供给这类员工。这些机会不论成本多高,肯定低于招聘新人的代价。

5. Keep the challenges coming.Leviss, a self-confessed HMHP, writes in her book that, having changed jobs six times by age 30, she had an epiphany: "I loved my job when I was working on new projects or new problems…. It was the thrill of something new that kept me going…. Most high-maintenance employees are unhappy when a project is over and they don't have another one in sight."
5. 不断给他们提供新的挑战。里维斯承认自己也是一名有本事、有脾气的员工。她在书中写道,自己在30岁之前曾经换过六份工作,有朝一日却突然醒悟:“当我参与新项目或遇到新问题的时候,我对工作便充满了热爱……促使我不断前进的,是新事物带来的刺激……大多数桀骜不驯的员工在一个项目结束,而另一个项目却仍杳无音讯的时候,会感到怅然若失,情绪低落。”

This eventually motivated her to start her own company, but you probably don't want your HMHP to do that in this case -- so make sure he never runs out of fresh puzzles to solve. A definite upside of having HMHPs around: One of their defining characteristics is that they don't know the meaning of the word "overwork."
正是认识到这一点,最终让她有了创业的打算,但你肯定不希望自己的HMHP员工也这么干。所以,最好的做法便是,让他始终有新鲜的谜题去解决,这样才会让他始终对工作充满热情。有恃才傲物的员工做自己的下属,有一种好处是非常确定的:他们的鲜明特点之一便是,从来不知道什么叫“加班”。

Good luck.
祝你好运。

Talkback:Have you ever worked with, or tried to manage, an HMHP? Do you think you are one? Leave a comment below.
反馈:你是否曾与恃才傲物的员工共事过,或者曾试图驾驭这类员工?你认为自己属于这类员工吗?欢迎评论。



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